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Widescreen Monitors - Pros and Cons?

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Widescreen Monitors - Pros and Cons?

Old 08-25-06, 09:44 AM
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Widescreen Monitors - Pros and Cons?

I've pretty much decided that I'm taking back my Samsung 204B, the vertical viewing angle makes it difficult to enjoy doing this:



So I went out last night to scope out other monitors. I saw an OLDER 20.1" Samsung that had a freaking awesome viewing angle (178) but the response time was 16ms as opposed to the 204B's 5ms. Well, that and the OLDER model was an extra $150. Then I saw something beautiful, the Samsung 215TW, a delicious 21" widescreen LCD, again with a 178 viewing angle and a portrait mode (so I can enjoy the above) and 8ms response (which is fine by me honestly). Then.. I see the thing has composite, s-video AND component hookups! And it's HDCP compliant or whatnot (I guess this will be important soon?).

So basically, I'd like to know all the pros and cons of a widescreen monitor. I guess my biggest concern is how 4:3 games are handled, I think I read that this particular monitor will letterbox them (which isn't an issue) and I'd still be able to play all my shooter games in tate mode (though I'm curious if the extra height in portrait mode would be a problem or not). Are there any advantages to staying 4:3 for PC use?
Old 08-25-06, 03:00 PM
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One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of non-widescreen LCD monitors are actually 5:4 (1280x1024). With that, you'd have to either stretch the image a little or use small letterbox bars to get a 1280x960 image. Rotating one of those monitors wouldn't do as much since it's closer to a square shape.

Are you going to be watching movies? That's one area where having widescreen would help.
Old 08-25-06, 03:59 PM
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Well, most of the 20" and above are 1600x1200, 4:3.

I don't watch movies on the computer but my girlfriend does sometimes..

I'm just having trouble finding another 20" or above that has a great viewing angle and isn't miffed on other specs. I love Samsungs but it seems they kind of trade features for others in between same size monitors. This particular widescreen is pretty much perfect other than wondering about 4:3 games and emulators (and how it runs in that extra tall portrait mode).
Old 08-25-06, 07:09 PM
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Okay, well, it sounds like widescreen would be fine. Do you know if these monitors have modes in the monitor itself to properly display 4:3 material rather than relying on the application? I know MAME has options for aspect ratio adjustment (and when I was trying out a widescreen mode I was able to get it to display properly pillarboxed), but I wonder if some of the less popular emulators and older games support it. If a particular emulator or game doesn't, it would be nice to have a feature in the monitor itself to force it to display properly.

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